Best Zoo Down South

Brent Mccoy
• Wednesday, 30 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Winchester Indoor and Outdoor Zoos and Wildlife Parks Head over to Maxwell Zoo, home to hundreds of endangered and exotic species, plus it's set across 140 acres, so there will be plenty of opportunities...

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If you prefer your animals to be of the slithery and scaly kind then get down to the New Forest Reptile Center. Enjoy a fun, educational and all-out amazing day out at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, home to over 130 magnificent birds of prey.

Deer viewing at Bolder wood Deer Sanctuary isn't guaranteed, but the herd is fed by the friendly local New Forest keeper daily between April and Septum... Drive on down to Unreal Alpacas and enjoy an amazing day out with your family this week.

Liberties Owl Raptor and Reptile Center is named after one of the many birds of prey on display, their Alaskan Bald Eagle. Bird world is home to over 2,000 creatures, including bugs, parrots, piranhas and everyone's favorite smartly dressed gents, penguins.

Amazon World Zoo Park is a fun filled all weather family day out! It is home to over 200 different species of birds and animals including Sloth, Ante...

The Isle of Wight Zoo is a favorite destination for all ages. Situated alongside Overland beach, the zoo provides a fun, educational and wholesome...

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If you’re craving a taste of the tropical then go to Darnley Butterflies, Birds and Beasts. Wander among tropical butterflies and exotic birds and I'm...

Owl and Falconry Center is set in the grounds of the Appuldurcombe estate, which also contains one of the grandest houses on the Isle of Wight! When you think of relaxing family days out you may not imagine walking a llama through the country, which is exactly what you can do at Surrey Hills...

Exploring the depths of the rainforest might not take as long as you thought, in fact, you don’t even have to leave the UK! Set by The Thames, Beale Park makes the most of its stunning backdrop by offering plenty of opportunity for guests to enjoy the scenery in the beauty...

We've rounded up the best zoos and wildlife parks in Touchdown in our quest to discover brilliant family attractions and places to visit near you. Many of the places we list are historic or educational in nature and would be suitable for class trips or as ways to keep the learning up whilst having fun over the school holidays.

Sub CategoryAnyAquariumsPetting ZoosSafari Parsons and Wildlife ParksChildren's Farms The theme park offers the Wild Africa Trek with a series of VIP adventures, like zip lining over hippos and a three-hour guided safari, all while accompanied by a Disney photographer who documents your journey.

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Attractions open to the public include a high-speed roller coaster, animal-themed stage shows and a roaring rapids ride. Various themed exhibits include primate canyon, animals of the night, cat country, penguin rock and tropical birdhouse.

The zoo also has daily stage shows, feedings and zookeeper talks highlighting animals like sea lions, pandas and grizzlies. Special events throughout the year include a Christmas lights show and an outdoor ice skating rink.

Inside the city’s sprawling Grant Park and established in 1889, Zoo Atlanta (Atlanta.org) is a 40-acre facility with close to 1,000 animals. Special programs include safari day camps for kids from kindergarten through eighth grade, overnight sleepovers and behind-the-scenes tours.

Exhibits include a 20,000-square-foot reptile aquarium, lemur island and two-acre African Savannah with giraffes, zebras and ostrich. In January and February, the zoo offers free admission to Lexington and Richland County residents on Fridays, as of publication.

The 500-acre zoo hosts 1,600 animals, including African bush hogs, American black bears, red wolves and chimpanzees. So, whether you want to pet wallabies, feed giraffes from a safari vehicle or help rehabilitate polar bears, you'll find plenty of ways to interact with animals at these 30 must-visit zoos.

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The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has evolved from philanthropist Spencer Penrose's private exotic animal collection into a noted educational facility. While exploring the exhibits that house the zoo's 170 species, be sure to pet the wallabies, greet the orangutans and feed lettuce to the friendly giraffes.

Weekends are especially crowded, so the best way to see this can't-miss attraction is to splurge on a premium zoo experience, such as an early morning breakfast with pandas followed by a property tour. Save money by going on a Wednesday (when the entrance fee is any amount you wish to donate), bringing food and buying a Metro-North Railroad Getaway Package.

Families can take advantage of free facilities like a lagoon and an aquarium or pay for special experiences like train rides, zip lining and giraffe feedings. For a unique zoo adventure, join a guided kayak tour to see Expedition Africa's rhinos and lemurs from the water.

The year-round facility features exhibits with red pandas, primates, hippos, penguins and more, plus a 4D movie theater, a carousel and a railroad, among other amenities. The zoo's naturalistic habitats range from an African savanna to rainforests for South American creatures to a sand-floored barn where zookeepers bury food and toys for elephants.

Or, participate in an evening Family Safari Night Hike, which is available on select days and costs $20 per person for visitors ages 5 and older. And when you need to rest your feet, climb aboard the zoo's steam-powered train, carousel or Safari, which offers a bird's-eye view of the 160-acre park.

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For 60 years, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has grown from a brewery and bird park to a major fixture encompassing thrill rides, live shows, animal exhibits and expert veterinary care. At this Tampa attraction, travelers have access to an array of animal encounters, including the 30-minute Serengeti Safari, which allows visitors 5 and older to hand-feed giraffes from open-air vehicles.

Fans of “The Wildlife Docs” series on The CW won't want to miss the 45-minute Animal Care Center walking tour. This $29 per person experience includes watching park animals receive wellness exams and interacting with the zoo's veterinarians.

The Wilds were founded in 1984 when the Central Ohio Coal Company gifted nearly 10,000 acres of surface-mined land to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Zookeeper and TV host Jack Hanna helped develop the plot of land roughly 75 miles southeast of downtown Columbus into a large educational preserve that complements the main zoo.

Adults can prolong their stays by reserving private yurts at the Nomad Ridge camp, where binoculars are available to watch passing animals like rhinos and red-tailed hawks. In the Louisiana Swamp exhibit, visitors will learn how Cajuns used Native American conservation techniques to create a unique culture and cuisine in a swampy environment.

The petting zoo gives little ones the chance to interact with zebus (miniature cows) and giant Algebra tortoises in an African farm setting, while the five-story treehouse at Monkey Hill (New Orleans tallest point) is a great place to burn off some energy. Mount Rushmore visitors put Bear Country USA (a drive-thru wildlife park) on the tourist map.

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While exploring this Rapid City attraction from late April through November, you may encounter black bears crossing the road and mountain lions, buffaloes, elk and reindeer roaming in fields. Before leaving, stretch your legs in the Wildlife Walk area, which features a gift shop and is lined with educational exhibits about foxes, skunks and other small mammals.

Native California desert plants line well-marked hiking trails that overlook Eisenhower Peak and the Coachella Valley, while African baobabs, triangle palms and elephant trees grow in the Madagascar Garden. The zoo also offers educational camel rides, reptile encounters and an endangered species-themed carousel, though some amenities and activities are only available during select months.

Big Cat Crossing, one of five Zoo360 trails, features an overhead mesh bridge for lions, pumas, jaguars and more. Standard admission costs $28 to $37 per person and includes entry to the walk-through Safari World amusement park, with animal presentations, bird and giraffe feedings, a petting zoo, a water playground and more.

And if you don't feel like trekking 21 miles east to a hotel in central West Palm Beach, you can pitch a tent at the on-site GOA campground. Designated areas include an Alaska-inspired region with everything from brown bears to porcupines, a water-filled habitat for Peruvian penguins and a tropical rainforest where jaguars live alongside frogs and birds.

At the city's Safari West nature preserve, which sits less than 28 miles northwest of Sonoma, visitors can get an up-close look at nearly 1,000 animals from 90-plus species. The nearly 100-acre Tucson facility uses invisible fencing in animal habitats, including those for endangered species like Mexican gray wolves and thick-billed parrots.

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At this wildlife park in downtown Indianapolis, visitors can interact with approximately 1,400 animals while exploring the gardenlike setting and attending a number of special events. Can't-miss exhibits include Oceans (an aquatic area with an underwater dolphin-viewing dome) and the Simon Skoda International Orangutan Center.

Travelers can watch native Alaskan creatures like rare snow leopards, moose and other Arctic species roam the wooded, hilly landscape of Anchorage. On a chilly Midwestern day, visitors can stay warm while observing otters, monkeys and more in the zoo's Tropical World area.

As part of the nonprofit Chicago Zoological Society, the zoo uses a portion of entrance fees to support various global conservation projects, including youth leadership training in Botswana and dolphin tagging in Brazil. The zoo's busy social calendar includes various conservation fundraisers, such as Pints for Pangolins, Wine for Rhinos and Beers for Bears.

Another must-visit exhibit is The Edge, where you can see Amur tigers walking across overhead bridges and from a viewing area with a perforated wall. Visitors can use an animal map to navigate the park's dirt roads on foot or ride the complimentary shuttle, which stops in four areas.

Watch zookeepers prepare special diets, get an up-close look at various critters (during select months) or explore the Enrichment Playground, which is filled with toys similar to those used by the property's animals. You'll find the action-packed Hermann Memorial Park, where the zoo resides, easy to reach by Eurorail's Red Line from downtown Houston.

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